A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Kaikoura vs. Aoraki Mount Cook for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Kaikoura or Aoraki Mount Cook?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Kaikoura or Aoraki Mount Cook? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a town on the east coast of the South Island, situated between Christchurch and Belnheim. It has a permanent resident population of 1,971. The Seaward Kaikoura Mountains that surround this town collide with the Pacific Ocean, and the continental shelf edge is just offshore. The ocean in Kaikoura is very rich in marine life, especially seals and whales.

Aoraki Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is located on the South Island of New Zealand. It was declared a national park in 1953 to protect and preserve the landscape. The park is home to the country's highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook. In Maori, Aoraki means, "cloud piercer", and the English name, Mt Cook, refers to the navigator James Cook, who discovered New Zealand in the 18th century. Mt Cook was the training location for Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first person to summit Everest in 1953. Other peaks in the park include Mount Tasman, Mount Sefton, and Mount Hicks. Not only can you find lush greenery all over the park, but also, glaciers cover 40% of the parks area.

Which city is cheaper, Aoraki Mount Cook or Kaikoura?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Kaikoura is $116, while the average daily cost in Aoraki Mount Cook is $90. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Kaikoura and Aoraki Mount Cook in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kaikoura $41
    Aoraki Mount Cook $51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kaikoura $82
    Aoraki Mount Cook $102

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kaikoura $15
    Aoraki Mount Cook $23

Is it cheaper to fly into Kaikoura or Aoraki Mount Cook?

Prices for flights to both Aoraki Mount Cook and Kaikoura change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Kaikoura $33
    Aoraki Mount Cook $23

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kaikoura $131
    Aoraki Mount Cook $20

Tours and Activities in Kaikoura

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Kaikoura are as follows:

  • 30-Minute Whale Watching Helicopter Tour: $269
  • Guided Family Kayaking Adventure: $89
  • Half-Day Wildlife Kayaking Tour: $85
  • Sunset Kayaking Tour: $89
  • Kayaking Adventure in Kaikoura: $70
  • Private Wildlife Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura: $178
  • Seal Swimming Tour from Kaikoura: $89
  • Wildlife Sea Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura: $89

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kaikoura -
    Aoraki Mount Cook $17


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kaikoura and Aoraki Mount Cook, we can see that Kaikoura is more expensive. And not only is Aoraki Mount Cook much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Aoraki Mount Cook would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Aoraki Mount Cook and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Kaikoura would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Kaikoura than you might in Aoraki Mount Cook.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Kaikoura vs. Aoraki Mount Cook Travel Comparison

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